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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 440025
Title Decision making on mega stables: understanding and preventing citizens’ distrust
Author(s) Breeman, G.E.; Termeer, C.J.A.M.; Lieshout, M. van
Source NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 66 (2013). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 39 - 47.
Department(s) Public Administration and Policy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) trust - agriculture - governance - motives - farm - risk
Abstract The expansion of intensive livestock farming, especially the construction of mega stables, is highly con-tested in the Netherlands. In this context, local authorities try to make decisions about situating megastables on their territory by balancing out various interests. However, many become entangled in esca-lating processes and lose the trust of both citizens and farmers. On the basis of an evaluation of adecision-making process about a mega stable project in a small Dutch town, this article analyzes whydistrust occurs and what local authorities could do to prevent this. In-depth interviews and participantobservations show how different configurations of stakeholders became fixed in their own convictions,values, and fears, resulting in mutual annoyances, misunderstandings, blaming, and, finally, distrust. Themore information public officials provided to dispel doubts about the mega stables, the more citizensstarted to distrust the local government. Trust is not enhanced by more information and transparencyalone. The paper concludes that, once a decision-making process escalates and distrust arises, it is verydifficult to revitalize the process and regain trust. The paper offers suggestions on governance actionsthat could help prevent spirals of distrust
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